Hi Beautiful bookworm! Want to know my number one way to de-stress? I’ll give you a hint: it has a front and back and lots of pages in between. Yup you got it. Reading is my number one way to relax, calm down, chill out, fall asleep… It is the ultimate self-care to take a little time to yourself and curl up with a good ol’ fashioned book or e-reader. People say “I don’t have the time to read” but I say, if you take all the minutes you spend every day on social media, checking emails, surfing the net or watching tv and devote a few of those minutes to reading, you’ll find you have oodles of time. So, now with all your new found time, what to read? I myself have very eclectic taste in books. I love a good thriller, mystery, scary book and I love historical romances (yes smut). I also really love to hear people’s stories and I especially LOVE wellness books, in all shape and sizes. But there are so many out there how do you know which ones are worth reading? Well, it’s your lucky day. I have a compilation of books I have gone to the trouble of reading so I can tell you which ones are keepers. There is even a video to watch touting some of my absolute favs.
Let’s start with Integrative Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal. he is the founder and main instructor for Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I got certified as a health coach. He teaches a whole life approach to health and wellness. Everything from the food on your plate to primary food – relationships, exercise, careers, spirituality… To achieve wellness one must look at all the facets of your life, food being a major one! It is a very interesting read with lots of aha moments.
Then we have Drug Muggers by pharmacist Suzy Cohen. This super informational read is filled with lots of drugs, what they do to you body and mind and alternatives to having to take those drugs.It is infused with large doses of humor. As a pharmacist I find this book super useful when talking to patients. Yes I get a little geeky about this.
Mind over Meds is written by one of my heroes, Dr. Andrew Weil. I got to hear him speak in person and I was like a starstruck kid seeing, well whoever is really popular right now (I dare not name a pop singer for fear they are no longer cool and the disdain I will get from my teenager is too much to bare). His book is along similar lines as Drug Muggers in that it tells you, but from a doctor’s perspective, what drugs we are taking too freely, and holistic approaches to those not having to take those drugs. It is truly amazing what you can do to heal your body that doesn’t involve running for pharmaceuticals. So if you are tired of your cholesterol meds or don’t want type II diabetes running your life anymore, this is a must read.
Alchemy of Herbs is a sweet little book by Rosalee De La Foret that lays out in chapters the different classes of herbs and what they are good for. If you are interested in bringing herbs into your kitchen and life, and you should be, then this is great starting point. She includes tons of recipes to incorporate these little miracles into your daily life. Everything from cough suppressants to desserts (now if I can heal myself with dessert that’s my kind of healing).
Dr. Aviva Romm’s The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution is a must have book for anyone experiencing adrenal, metabolism or thyroid issues, or if you are not sure but have some of the symptoms. Fatigue, Stress, Weight Gain despite exercise, Cravings, Depression, Brain fog,…It is a complete and thorough explanation of what these conditions entail, their causes, and symptoms. It is well played out in layman terms so we can all understand, as she is crazy smart. She then details her 4 week program for treating these conditions, which are often intertwined, in a very holistic manner.
So Michael Pollan has written several books on the sad state of food in our country. He is a journalist who has delved into the food industry and the chronic diseases affecting our nation today. Everywhere you turn someone is telling you to eat this, don’t eat that… What the heck are you supposed to eat anymore? Well, any of these authors and myself will tell you to just eat real food, at the core of it. But Michael’s book Food Rules is a great little gem filled with great, often humorous, rules about what to eat and what to avoid. It is a quick easy read and one you will keep as a reference time and again. I give this book to my coaching clients as a guide to get them started.
Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie is a well loved book to me. It is not something you read all at once rather a little here and there.They are daily insights and meditations to guide you through. I swear I will read her entry for that day and be like”Yes Yes that is exactly it”. She travels for one year through the USA and each day writes an insightful meditation based on her experience that day. It is eery how dead on she is. Read one entry a day or a few entries a day. There will be lots of dog ears in this one for sure.
I also had the pleasure to hear Dr. Christiane Northrup speak and she blew me away. Her wisdom and sass were music to my ears. Another doctor who really gets it. It is not about taking pills to make you better rather it is a whole life approach. This book Goddesses Never Age is for the ladies, sorry boys. She delves into aging and why it’s total bullshit. I just love her. There is no reason why at 80 you can’t run a marathon or start tango lessons. You go on. She gives you all the tools you need to be ageless!
And last but definitely not least is a book that really touched me and changed me at the core. Nathan Runkle’s Mercy for Animals was not an easy read. In fact be sure to have lots of tissues nearby. When I became a vegetarian it was 25 years ago and it was for dietary reasons. When I became vegan, it was about so much more than just me. Don’t get me wrong, the added health benefits I am experiencing are great, but it’s really not about that (for me at least). I am not by any means pushing people to become vegan, though that would be grand. But to at least have some understanding about our big farma industry and where your meat is coming from is really important. Nathan’s tireless work since he was a kid really is inspiring, jaw dropping and definitely tissue worthy. His organization is remarkable. You really have to read this book as I cannot really do it justice in a couple of sentences.
As promised here is a little video explaining a few of (not all) of these books mentioned.
There are so so so many books out there about health and wellness and food it is impossible to read them all. I have read many and wanted to pass some of my favorites along to you. If you have one you particularly love, that meant alot to you, please share it in the comments.
If you are more of a visual person check out What the Health on Netflix – it’s a head shaker for sure. And I realize it is one-sided, as are all documentaries, but it is also really hard to ignore. Also really good to check out is SuperSize Me and Rotten.
So let’s end all this talk about wellness and food with a little recipe I just invented. Grainless Granola:
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds mashed into little pieces
*To get all these into little pieces I used a glass mortar and pestle. I am sure you can put in a food processor on chop for 10 seconds or so.
2 Tbs sesame seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 cup raw honey (warm it up if it’s hard)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
dash sea salt
Get nuts into bite size pieces – see note above
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Mix all nuts, seed, cinnamon, salt and coconut together. Then add the vanilla, maple syrup and honey and mix well.
Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes. let cool and enjoy!
Peace, Love and Happy Reading,